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The "HEART" of Thanksgiving


  • The “Heart” of Thanksgiving

    November 21, 2017

    (Dedicated to my daughter Curry who resides in Heaven)

    1 Thessalonians 5:18

    In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

    So what does being thankful mean to you? In all circumstances, give thanks, really? Is your life spinning out of control? You are to give thanks. Really? You just lost a child to cancer, they will never see another Christmas. In all circumstances, give thanks. Really? You have just been notified by the Military that your husband has been killed in another country as they hand you his remaining objects, and you weep. In all things give thanks. Really? You just lost your job after seven years, your heart is broke, you find out they replaced you with an automated system. Then, you remember you prayed sometime back for God to move on your behalf, and you say, Thank You Lord for hearing my prayer. This does not mean you will be without tears, this does not mean you will not have to work hard at finding another job while on unemployment. You will have to muster the “Thank You” for your provision in this circumstance. This does not mean you will now get your dream job. What if your unemployment runs out and you have absolutely nothing to draw from? What if your life becomes more difficult when you thought it would be easier? In all things give thanks. Really? Yes, Really!

    I could go on, but I think you have a good idea of what the possibilities could be in your life, and maybe you have already experienced one or two of the things I wrote above. I have found it very difficult to thank the Lord in all circumstances since all of my circumstances lately, well, really for many years, has been of one in the vast wilderness of adversity. There have been times that my refrigerator has been completely empty. I am not old Mother Hubbard, and I rarely have things in my cupboard.

    This past Sunday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I listened to a message from In Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley. The title was “Thanksgiving Every Day” ( November 19, 2017 message). It was a real eyeopener for me, and made me clearly see I have not been grateful in all circumstances, not even a little bit. I consider myself to be a very thankful person, remembering to say Thank You in most circumstances, but in the ones that choke the life out of me that is a different story. But God made me see things in a different light through this message. He let me see the “Heart” of being Thankful in all circumstances.

    Jeremiah 1:5

    Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

    Do you realize how closely God is following your life? Do you realize that from the scripture above In Jeremiah 1:5 God says he knew you before you were formed? Take a moment and reflect on that. You were not saved before you were born, nor after you were born, but God says, in this scripture below in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for you. Take a moment and think about that. These two things are an awesome eye opening spiritual thing. It has taken me 36 years of walking with the Lord to finally see the missing pieces.

    Jeremiah 29:11

    For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    When I was a young teen, I went to confession. I was brought up Catholic. I remember one day, after I had confessed what I confessed and said how ever many hail Marys and our fathers, I walked out of the church building, and just stood on the side walk for a few minutes. Pondering. Wondering if that is all there was, or was there more. I can still see myself standing there on that sidewalk. I might have been 16. My journey would not reach my introduction to the Lord till December 1981, I was 23 then. My life had gone through many things before I came to know who Jesus really was and what He did for me. My father was an alcoholic and abusive, my mother was passive and did not protect us kids. There was a host of miscellaneous smatterings of things I had done that were far from Christlike when I looked back on them later. When I looked back, I was ashamed, but the more I came to know who Jesus was and what He did for me, the pain of that time became less and less and I could see my life being directed by something or someone much greater. I reflect on what I could have gotten in to, and in my reflection, I have to say “Thank You” Lord.

    When I had to have an emergency C-section with my daughter, Curry, I was not saved then. She was born in February of 1981. I would not come to know the Lord till that December 1981. I remember praying as they wheeled me down the hall to have surgery. I was terrified, you sign papers that say, if you die we are not responsible kind of thing. Some people never come out of surgery alive. My prayer was simple, save the child and take me instead if someone had to die. I had lived my life, but my child was only beginning. What I never realized, listen to me now, what I never realized until after I got saved was that if God had answered that prayer and took me out, I would have spent eternity in Hell. Yet if He had taken Curry, she would have gone on to heaven to be with Jesus that day. But God in His loving Mercy and Grace, knew the plans He had for me, and He saved us both that day in the physical. He knew that the Gospel would be presented to me in December, and He knew I would say yes, on that day, I was sealed for all Eternity because of the sacrifice of Jesus. My sins, past, present and future are covered under His blood and I now belong to the King of Kings. It is in looking back that I can now say “Thank you”. The ‘HEART OF THANKSGIVING IS ‘JESUS”.

    If you have read your bible you will see the certain restrictions that God placed upon His people. ( Lev.22:29-33)One of them was the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving, and it was preformed every morning and evening . A blood sacrifice, twice a day to remind the Hebrews that the Lord was the one who brought them out of Egypt and gave birth to them as a nation. He alone saved, kept, and provided for them just as He does for us today.

    We being Gentiles, should do not less than the Hebrews in giving thanks to God for all that He has done for us. For all the protection He has covered us with. If you really think about your life, if you look back to how you lived before, if you reflect on how worse things could have been, than you can really say “Thank You Lord” with meaning in your heart.

    No matter where your life is now, this Thanksgiving, reflect on your past Thanksgiving, what has happened in your life since last year? Can you now find and see “ The Heart Of Thanksgiving”?

    “Jesus” is the reason. He should be at the very heart of our Thanksgiving. We have much to celebrate, we have much to be thankful for. Thank Him for your pain, it is a great reminder of the Pain he suffered for us.

    Job 1:21

    And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

    Since the Lord is the Author and Finisher of our Faith, it is right and just to Give Him Thanks in all things.

    May your lives reflect your Thankfulness today as you celebrate the Holiday with Family and Friends.

    Leslie


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7 comments
  • 0
Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you for sharing Leslie!
November 22, 2017
  • 1
Leslie McLea
Leslie McLea

Thank you Pastor, you are very welcome. I have not written since in a long long time. I was asking God to let me write again if it was His will. He had to give me the title as he had before, and he had to direct me to the scripture he wanted. I at such great peace when I can write for him. I hope He will continue to inspire me. I was surprised though, this was not as long as some of my messages in the past. Maybe He is refining me LOL. 

November 22, 2017
  • 1
Sandra Harguindeguy
Sandra Harguindeguy

Thank you Leslie for blessing us with your beautiful message. 

November 22, 2017
  • 2
Roseanne Braverman
Roseanne Braverman

Beautiful reflection, God Bless you and your family today and always. 

November 22, 2017
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you for the beautiful message, Leslie <3!

November 22, 2017
  • 1
Rebecca Adkins
Rebecca Adkins

Thank you so much for posting this. I was meditating and was prompted to open RHM. I had no idea this was here. I'm really touched and cannot stop the tears.  I read every word out loud. I now know GOD is responsible, as so many questions were answered .May He Bless you and wrap you in His ever loving arms.

Rebecca 

November 22, 2017
  • 1
David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles

Thank you Leslie <3 I imagine the holidays must be a very hard time for you riddled with bittersweet memories. This was a wonderful reminder of God's great plans for us to be grateful in all circumstances. I too have had many moments in life where I had to ask "Really? I need to be thankful for this?" and later realized why I should have been more trusting in the Lords grace and insight. Very inspiring article Leslie. God bless and Happy Thanksgiving <3

November 23, 2017